“Can and will running help my swimming aerobic capacity if I’m solely doing that as a preseason workout?”
– James Thomas
It would help to know a bit more background on the swimmer’s situation, because the amount of time out of the pool (out of swimming training) has to be considered. Certainly if the swimmer were to add running to their current swimming routine, it could help the athlete improve their overall capacity for work. But to take time away from the pool, and add running into what is considered “time off”, is at best maintaining work capacity.
Generally you’re going to lose something in there. If the break is short (1 to 3 weeks), you are going to get a different (and positive) response after getting back in the pool. You will be somewhat out of shape, but you should be refreshed mentally, and it won’t take longer than 3-6 weeks to be back in great form (in terms of work capacity).
Running while taking a 1-3 week break is a great way to maintain a bit of your aerobic “work ability” during time away from the pool. It won’t maintain it, but it will be fun and good for your head. If you are back in the pool within 3 weeks, in this scenario, you’ll be better off than the athletes who do nothing for 3 weeks. If you are taking more than a 3 week break, you will lose more conditioning every week – and running, while it’s still better than nothing, is not going to translate into the pool. Anyone who has done the “six-weeks-off-but-I-ran-three-times-a-week” break will attest to its limited positive effect.
Here’s a good “break” strategy for the summer
High School-aged swimmer and younger – swim one week of practice directly after main summer meet; take 10 days off; return to practice. Optional: 30 Minutes of Aerobic activity of choice 3 times per week.
College-aged swimmer – swim three days of practice directly after main summer meet; take 2-3 weeks off; return to practice. Optional: 30 Minutes of Aerobic activity 3 times per week.
Post-Collegiate swimmer – swim three days of practice directly after main summer meet; take 3-4 weeks off; return to practice. Optional: 30 min of Aerobic activity 3 times per week.
Please submit questions and I will attempt to answer them. Additionally, if anyone has any specific type of workout they would like to see — let me know, and I will do my best to provide it!
This free resource was provided by T2 Aquatics head coach Paul Yetter.